2012 WPX CW contest

I don’t normally operate the WPX contests, but several friends (e.g., KB9UWU and SM2WMV/SJ2W) were planning efforts and I thought it would be worthwhile to spend some time working them.  The high bands have been in good shape lately.  And, WPX CW was the first CW contest I ever operated (in 1997…my call was AA8UP then if you want to look up my stellar performance).  Why not have a little fun?!

The 30-meter open-wire fed dipole at 40 feet worked great as two half-waves in-phase on 15 meters into Europe (and the Pacific).  Now, I can move the lackluster 15-meter dipole high into the back tree for N/S operation.  In fact, it might actually be smart to just put a second 30-meter open-wire fed dipole there.  Interesting thought.  Probably have the parts to build another tuner in the junkbox(es).

I paid basically no attention to strategy and just did whatever I pleased working interesting stuff and running a little bit later on.  I didn’t spend much time on 40 and I didn’t work the 2nd radio very hard until the last 1.5 hours between 2114 and 2249 on Sunday when I made 124 QSOs…not big rates, but a nice pace for using the second radio to fill in dead space.  Here is the damage:

Call: K8GU
Operator(s): K8GU
Station: K8GU

Class: SOAB LP
Operating Time (hrs): 6
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs
  160:    0
   80:    0
   40:   52
   20:  206
   15:   97
   10:   12
Total:  367  Prefixes = 256  Total Score = 266,496

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club


“Sleep when the baby sleeps,” new parents are told.  All six hours of operating were with Evan asleep and about four were with Sarah asleep.  So, guess who’s behind now!

Ethan Miller, K8GU, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Maryland, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “2012 WPX CW contest”

  • Richard KW0U:

    Great score Ethan,and a Q every minute for an hour and a half is (to me at least) pretty impressive. I didn’t work the contest but DX seems to be getting better. Was able to get into Japan on 15 this morning, and here in Minnesota I run 100 W to an attic dipole. Europe seems to be coming in most evenings on 20 too, and have been able to snag a VK, ZL, and even a V5 on that band. Here’s hoping conditions continue to improve.

  • k8gu:

    Good morning, Richard. Thanks for the comment…I suppose “good” QSO rates depend on your perspective. That’s really great with an attic dipole! I tried operating from an apartment with an indoor antenna when I lived in Minneapolis (2003-2005) and it was hard to make stateside QSOs, let alone DX! Of course, it was steel and concrete construction, not wood. Great job.

    Yeah, I hope this cycle we get at least a few days of 10-meter propagation that are as good as 15 was over the weekend. Although, a lot of the old-timers in PVRC are saying these are the best 15-meter conditions they’ve witnessed in 30-40-50 years! We’ll have to see!

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